Fear of rabies outbreak in Kupwara

Multiple cattle deaths with rabies symptoms reported Animal Husbandry Deptt constitutes team to assess ground situation
Representational Image
Representational ImageFile/ GK

Srinagar: In what could be a scary turn of events, officials in the Animal Husbandry Department said that suspected rabies cases among cattle have set off alarm bells in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

As per the officials, multiple cattle have died of typical rabies-like symptoms over the past few weeks in Goose village of Kupwara.

An official of the Animal Husbandry Department said that after multiple cattle and dogs died due to rabies-like symptoms, the Chief Animal Husbandry Officer Kupwara, in an official communication, wrote to the Animal Husbandry’s Joint Directorate of Animal Health and Biological Products (AH&BP) about the issue.

“Given the gravity of the situation, a special team was constituted based on five members to assess the situation on the ground,” officials said.

Following the incident, the Joint Directorate of Animal Health and Biological Products issued an official communication and constituted a team to assess the situation on the ground.

“Based on the communication received from the Chief Animal Husbandry Kupwara, a team of officers and officials of this institute is hereby constituted and deputed to the Goose village of Kupwara regarding the indication of suspected rabies cases on August 4, 2023. The team should submit a thorough report regarding the assessments of the deaths reported and necessary sampling collection if required,” reads the official communication, a copy of which is with Greater Kashmir.

An official said that following the on-ground visit, clear rabies-like symptoms were found in the livestock.

He said that following the fresh death of cattle on Saturday, the sample was to be sent outside Kashmir for examination.

“The team which visited the area found out that nearly four to six cattle died from the typical rabies-like symptoms. It is a village area with wild animals which makes it even more serious,” the official said.

Officials said that they also received information about multiple dog bite cases among the people in other areas of Kupwara.

“One of the dogs died, and the sample was collated and sent for examination. After the reports came, the sample was positive for rabies. With the rise in dog population, there is an increased number of dog attacks among both people and cattle,” the official said.

Dr Intesar Makhdoomi from Animal Husbandry Department, Kupwara, said that there were suspected cases of rabies, but they were waiting for the final confirmation.

“These people often take the livestock to the hills, and there are wild animals as well, so we are doing a proper investigation. There were some confirmed rabies cases among dogs in Kupwara. We are waiting for final confirmation on the recent issue, which led to the death of cattle. We are doing proper vaccination in our area and all the precautions are followed accordingly,” he said.

An Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) of J&K Police diagnosed with rabies died on Friday in Ramban.

A rabies-infected dog had bit him around three months ago while he was performing his duty in Ramban town.

With the rise of the dog population, the death of the ASI has created fear psychosis among the people.

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